SA: Thenjiwe Chakala

Date: September 25, 2018
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“I cannot lie if I did not get assistance from council and other people it was going to hard and maybe it could have never happened”  

I started attending the I story workshop since August 2014 and attending the training phase 1-3, learning how to use the computer and ways to start a business. Researching on your business way to do the research and advertising your business. I then gained interest in opening my own business.

I joined the Gender forum through the gender coordinator, Mrs. Tshidi whom appointed us through being ward committee members. Through the gender forum meetings, we were introduced to SA Gender Links l untold stories workshops. In one of the workshops facilitated by Ntombi, she noticed that there was a lot of painful untold stories amongst the group then we made a day whereby we will share our untold stories and help each other to deal with the pain and find a way to forgive and move on, which we did and it has helped us a lot. I managed to share what I had to go through as a child and it was for the first time ever that I spoke of it and I managed to heal and let go. 

I joined the training after the “I “story programme last year in August 2014. And I have attended all the phases and the business plan and developing the idea of the business.  My main challenge was to open the business as I did not have enough finances to start the business then I decided to start selling kota (bunny chows) and chips which is still a small business because I have not acquired enough finances to turn it into a big shop where people can sit while they eat. 

I was just sitting at home and applying for jobs or looking for finances to start a business. I am currently studying part time at the University of the North West and managing my business instead of waiting at home for someone to help me with the finances. The Emfuleni Municipality has not helped me to start the business at all. The pastor has helped me with the finances, he borrowed me money to start my business and the stokvel (mgolishwano) with other women by giving each other money rotating monthly it is slow but effective. 

I am only emotional abused now and I have left the relationship. I have learned to be confidence and know that I can still leave without his finances. I am much stronger as a young women, I am now able to assist women who are going through the same problems that I have uncounted advancing them on what to do and with the decisions. They feel that I am not the same person, I look confident and I take pride in the decisions that I make regarding my life. Economic empowerment makes people to be strong and take decisions on sober mind not based on attaining things as GBV is caused by people being dependent on others and not being able to stand on their own. 

My change is influencing my community in a positive manner as I tell them to take charge of their lives and do something about their situations that will make them to be great in future. My future plans are to be financially stable, have my own businesses, home and cars. To be fully sustainable as a women and bring change to the lives of the other people.